Ballasting

A very long and hard day’s work, but we’ve got the turntable track back up and running.

Job one was tie up the last of the loose sleepers.

It took most of the morning but the old ballast was collected up and transferred over to the new track.

With some rock on, it was starting to look more impressive.

Even the point lever has been installed and it works!

A lot of lifting was required to achieve a smooth surface, still more lifting is needed, but that will require more ballast. As this is only a loco road, it’ll be quite adequate for years just like this.

The end result and a very exhausted gang proud of their efforts.

New turnout

Well today was the day. The new turnout went in.

First up was pulling up the old track and scraping away ballast ready for the move.

A lot of fine movements and measuring were required to locate the turnout and the approach roads exactly.

The turnout has even been clipped to the correct location, as it will be some time before the straight leg comes into use. It looks very smart.

With the trusty truck being the first beast over the new turnout.

After getting the turnout exactly right, we moved our attention to slewing the existing track.

It took quite a bit of running back and forward to achieve the amount of movement required.

Part way through the track looked terrible! Thankfully it’s all very flexible.

The track has actually been slewed completely off it’s old road bed onto the prepared ground.

With a nice set of reverse curves installed to allow access onto the turntable.

The job’s not finished yet, with the final rails still to be bolted up, ballast to be applied and lots and lots of lifting and tamping to do, we’ll be busy tomorrow, any extra hands very welcome.

This marks a big step forward in the Castlemaine project as it now allows all trenching to be finished and shed construction is now unimpeded by obstacles.

This weeks Civil Saturday will again be at Castlemaine, meeting A box from 8.30am.

Ballast plough

Although not today’s activity (a very quiet day with only odd jobs tended to between showers) we have now taken delivery of a ballast plough.

Wednesday saw a local tilt tray collect the 4 wheeled ballast plough from Daylesford for it’s short journey to Maldon.

The wagon was used on the VGR back during the Castlemaine extension project many years ago, with us now borrowing it again to spread ballast the full length of our line as part of the track upgrade.

We’re greatly thankful to our friends at the Daylesford Spa Country Railway for loaning us the wagon, it’ll make our life much easier!

It’s going to receive a bit of an overhaul before we put it to use.

Next week is shaping up to be a big week, with the installation of our new turnout planned, plus slewing the turntable track into it’s required location.

Muckleford Creek Bridge

It’s been a few days worth of work, but today saw that culminate in a very straight and very level track over the notoriously wiggly Muckleford Creek Bridge.

Some sections were straightened with brute force (the digger) while others were cross bored to correct slight gauge defects.

A lot of lifting and tamping across the bridge was also undertaken, removing the last of the dips due to decking holes that have now been plated.

Once we’d decided we had achieved an excellent job over the bridge, we turned our attention to the rough curve at the UP end of the bridge.

Lots of tweaking, with parts of the curve moved up to a 300mm to make it aline nicely with the bridge.

We even ran out enough ballast to fill all the voids over the bridge and re-establish a ballast shoulder where the curve was moved. The end result is a very nice looking piece of track.

Tomorrow will be a few odd jobs around the railway depending on the rain, meeting Maldon at 8am.